Homosexuality is not a crime; don’t dehumanize LGBTQ Ghanaians – LGBT Rights Ghana

The community of Lesbians, Gays, Bis, Trans, Intersex, Queers & Allies in Ghana has condemned comments by Minister-designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection.

Sarah Adwoa Sarfo expressed disapproval over the legalisation of homosexuality in the country when she appeared before the Vetting Committee of Parliament.

“The issue of LGBTQI is an issue that when mentioned creates some controversy but what I want to say is that our laws are clear on such practices. It makes it criminal. On the issue of its criminality, it is non-negotiable on the issue of cultural acceptance and norms too. These practices are also frowned upon,” the MP for Dome-Kwabenya Constituency stressed.

But LGBT+ Rights Ghana in response to the Minister’s comment, said such assertions are intended to discredit, insult and dehumanize LGBTQ Ghanaians.

“Weaponising LGBTQ by some Ghanaian politicians to discredit, insult and dehumanize LGBTQ Ghanaians. Playing the populist rhetoric and appealing to people’s worst prejudices. Human Rights belongs to all. Freedom and justice to all not some Ghanaians,” LGBT+ Rights Ghana stated in a quick reaction to Adwoa Safo’s comments. Don’t dehumanise LGBTQ Ghanaians; Human Rights belongs to all

In an interview with topstories.com.gh, Deputy Director of Communications at LGBT Rights Ghana maintained that the laws of Ghana do not criminalise sexuality but rather,  certain sexual acts.

She (name withheld), stated emphatically that “not all homosexuals are having sex. Same as, all heterosexuals are not having sex.”

Schooling critics on homosexuality and criminality of sexuality, she directs Ghanaians to read Prof. Raymond A. Atuguba’s academic paper on ‘Homosexuality in Ghana: Morality, Law, Human Rights’.

she said, “If in doubt, go read Raymond A. Atuguba’s Homosexuality in Ghana: Morality, Law, Human Rights. You will find it on the Internet /Research Gate with the title I have provided above.”

She added, “In the paper, he writes, and I quote: ‘In an interview with Human Rights Watch, an Assistant Commissioner of Police in Ghana, admitted this when he said, the term unnatural carnal knowledge is vague, does not have any clear meaning in law, creates difficulties in consistent interpretation and its application is used to target LGBT people (Human Rights Watch, 2017).'”

“But of course, when you reduce people’s sexual orientation to ONLY the sex they are having, then you will think homosexuality is illegal in Ghana. All homosexuals are not having sex. Same as, all heterosexuals are not having sex. You may be dating, yes. But are you having sex?” she questioned.

She went on to say that, “With regards to culture, African societies have always had amongst us, queer persons. And in any case, some African cultures, and Ghana specifically, approve of FGM and Trokosi. Why are we not letting them be? Because we understand that culture that hurts the vast majority must, and should change. This is why we say culture is dynamic, and not static.”

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